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LEED v2009
Neighborhood Development
Green infrastructure & buildings
Water efficient landscaping

LEED CREDIT

ND-v2009 GIBc4: Water Efficient Landscaping 1 point

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Explore this LEED credit

Post your questions on this credit in the forum, and click on the credit language tab to review to the LEED requirements.

Credit language

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© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Requirements

Reduce water consumption for outdoor landscape irrigation by 50% from a calculated baseline for the site’s peak watering month. Reductions may be attributed to any combination of the following strategies, among others:

  1. Plant species, plant density, and microclimate factor.
  2. Irrigation efficiency.
  3. Use of captured rainwater.
  4. Use of recycled wastewater.
  5. Use of water treated and conveyed by a government agency specifically for nonpotable uses.
  6. Use of other nonpotable water sources, such as stormwater, air-conditioning condensate, and foundation drain water.
Projects with no new or existing landscape irrigation requirements automatically meet the credit requirements. Groundwater seepage that is pumped away from the immediate vicinity of buildings slabs and foundations can be used for landscape irrigation and meet the intent of this credit. However, it must be demonstrated that doing so does not affect site stormwater management systems. See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Addenda

2/2/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Below the table, replace the first sentence of the first paragraph with the following:"Determine, if applicable, the controller efficiency (CE), the percentage reduction in water use from any weather-based controllers or moisture sensor-based systems, not to exceed 30% for the peak month of July."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
In the third line of the first paragraph, remove the colon after "strategies" so the text becomes "...of the following strategies, among others:"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
2/2/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace "CE" with "(1 - CE)"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/19/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the third line of the first paragraph, remove the colon after "strategies" so the text becomes "...of the following strategies, among others:"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Under the first paragraph replace “a calculated midsummer baseline case” with “a calculated baseline for the site’s peak watering month.”
Under Section e replace “public agency” with “government agency”
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of this credit is to alter planting details to eliminate the use of potable water for landscape irrigation as much as possible. Project teams tend to interpret "landscape" as any vegetated space on the project site. However, some projects also include growing space for food in an urban agriculture or community garden setting. This is not "landscape" in the usual sense, and the normal water use reduction measures aren\'t appropriate when the land is being used productively. In LEED for Homes, an existing LEED Interpretation clarifies that growing space should be exempted entirely from the calculations for the Homes version of this credit (do not include in the numerator or denominator). See LI 2736. I request that this LI be extended to all LEED rating systems, since growing space is potentially a component of many project types.

Ruling:

Project teams may elect to exclude food gardens from landscape calculations on the rationale that normal water use reduction measures are not appropriate when the land is being used to produce food for human consumption. If a project team chooses to exclude a food garden from the landscape area, it should be excluded uniformly across the baseline and design calculations.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The intent of this credit is to alter planting details to eliminate the use of potable water for landscape irrigation as much as possible. Project teams tend to interpret "landscape" as any vegetated space on the project site. However, some projects also include growing space for food in an urban agriculture or community garden setting. This is not "landscape" in the usual sense, and the normal water use reduction measures aren\'t appropriate when the land is being used productively. In LEED for Homes, an existing LEED Interpretation clarifies that growing space should be exempted entirely from the calculations for the Homes version of this credit (do not include in the numerator or denominator). See LI 2736. I request that this LI be extended to all LEED rating systems, since growing space is potentially a component of many project types.

Ruling:

Project teams may elect to exclude food gardens from landscape calculations on the rationale that normal water use reduction measures are not appropriate when the land is being used to produce food for human consumption. If a project team chooses to exclude a food garden from the landscape area, it should be excluded uniformly across the baseline and design calculations.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Should athletic fields be included or excluded from landscape water use calculations for WEc1?

Ruling:

All LEED projects can choose to include or exclude athletic fields at the project teams discretion from WEc1 Water Efficient Landscaping (D+C) and WEc3 Water Efficient Landscaping (EBOM). However, if such areas are included, they must be included in all other applicable credit calculations. Internationally applicable.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
See all forum discussions about this credit »

Documentation toolkit

The motherlode of cheat sheets

LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Requirements

Reduce water consumption for outdoor landscape irrigation by 50% from a calculated baseline for the site’s peak watering month. Reductions may be attributed to any combination of the following strategies, among others:

  1. Plant species, plant density, and microclimate factor.
  2. Irrigation efficiency.
  3. Use of captured rainwater.
  4. Use of recycled wastewater.
  5. Use of water treated and conveyed by a government agency specifically for nonpotable uses.
  6. Use of other nonpotable water sources, such as stormwater, air-conditioning condensate, and foundation drain water.
Projects with no new or existing landscape irrigation requirements automatically meet the credit requirements. Groundwater seepage that is pumped away from the immediate vicinity of buildings slabs and foundations can be used for landscape irrigation and meet the intent of this credit. However, it must be demonstrated that doing so does not affect site stormwater management systems.
See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Unsubscribe from discussions about ND-v2009 GIBc4